Monday, March 22, 2010


Okay, finally there is SOMETHING TO CHEER ABOUT if you are a Michigan Wolverine Fan! The University of Michigan Men's Hockey Team wins the CCHA playoffs after wheezing through the regular season...This seems very reminiscent of 1996 to me when Michigan kind of "snuck in" to the NCAA Frozen Four and ended up winning the whole thing! Doesn't matter about the regular season now. Just win the next the next 4 games, baby!

Actually, Michigan winning Friday night against Miami of Ohio was HUGE! Miami was favored to win all the marbles and Michigan upsets the favorite! Then, they had to be a testy Northern Michigan and managed to do so with two Caporusso goals in the 2nd and 3rd periods on Saturday.

And the Hero? Well......Read this about a Walk-On Goalie named Hunwick if you want to get a MAIZE AND BLUE CHILL UP AND DOWN YOUR SPINE!

There's a lot more posts everywhere and I will invite you to visit the link to the "Blog that Yost Built" page to get more on the action.

But suffice to say, even though it has NOT been used a lot lately,


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Conference Expansion: Things That Make You Go Hmmmm...

I will admit that I have been reading NDNation quite a bit lately, and Rock's House for takes and opinions on the Big 10 Expansion. What is truly amazing to me is the vitriol and pure hatred that the Domers have not only for Michigan, but the Big 10 in general. I just don't get it. They're right in the middle of Big 10 country. I mean, yes I hate Sparty, The Suckeyes, PSU, and others, but They are My Conference! And I root for them when I have to...So it's a Love -Hate thing, I guess.

What this thread threw out there opened my eyes to something that may not be obvious to all the casual observers: Once the idea of a SEPERATE CONFERENCE RUN (somehow) by the Domers ($warbuck$) and dominated (somehow) by the Domers and Texas, well, then suddenly, everything about being in a conference was great, even AWESOME!?!?!? How can these fans be so blatantly blind to "WE DON'T NEED THE CASH THAT A CONFERENCE PROVIDES!" to arguing in favor of "WHAT A GREAT CONFERENCE THIS WOULD BE AND DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY THIS WOULD MAKE FOR NOTRE DAME???"

Seriously, I couldn't believe what I was reading. These two-faced SOB's basically don't want anything to do with the Big 10, but they are more than in favor of creating their own conference of their choosing to shape the football landscape the way they see fit! Is that arrogant, or is that arrogant?

But, just for shits and giggles, let's play their game:

Here is the proposed TEXA-ND conference, controlled primarily by Notre Dame and Texas:

Team - Conference

  1. ND - NONE
  2. Georgia Tech - ACC
  3. Texas - Big 12
  4. Texas A&M - Big 12
  5. Virginia -ACC
  6. Virginia Tech - ACC
  7. Pittsburgh - Big East
  8. West Virginia - Big East
  9. Rutgers - Big East
  10. Syracuse - Big East
  11. Nebraska - Big 12
  12. Missouri - Big 12
  13. Miami - ACC
  14. Florida State - ACC

    I was almost quick to poo-poo the idea, but I let that list sit in my brain for minute. Notice anything about the list? There are two dominant teams/markets in there: Texas and Notre Dame. There are some fringe teams that are in important markets (Miami, Syracuse, Rutgers) and there are some Football worthy teams (Nebraska, Florida State) that may or may not be key to this, but are interesting adds none the less. And the key is all would more than likely benefit from an equal cash flow if you had Notre Dame and Texas leading the ticket.

    What was interesting was that if Texas and Notre Dame were to somehow connect (I know, THAT'S A HUGE, BIG FREAKIN' IF) they could potentially have the clout (and pull) to persuade some of these teams to consider this based on the following:

    NBC. They have suddenly become a big piece of this re-alignment. They are the last major network without a conference affiliation due to the Domer contract. But I am sure everyone at NBC is saying, "Look, Domer nation just isn't cutting it any more and we'd like to broadcast more than one game in SIGNIFICANT MARKETS." If that's the case and the Big 10 Market and SEC Market are gone, what do you do?

    Answer: Create your own Market.

    Go down to my earlier posts here and here: This market would penetrate several of the existing markets (with the exception of the Big 10 due to the BTN and the money they are already making) but it would be on in households from Texas, Florida, the East Coast and most importantly, New York. And New York, with households that would be interested in Notre Dame, Miami, Texas and Florida might then pop for the TEXA-ND Conference Channel. And NBC would be broadcasting the "Big Game of the Week" Nationally and the lesser games on Versus....

    Uh-oh....This makes too much sense....WAY too much sense...And if Texas and ND can put there heads together and work out the details, the teams on the list would be idiots not to take it...But where does that leave everyone who's not on the list?

    Let's look:

Big 12 - 8 Teams left...(looks a little like the Old Big 8, doesn't it?):

  1. Baylor
  2. Colorado
  3. Oklahoma (The biggest losers in all of this)
  4. Oklahoma State
  5. Iowa State
  6. Kansas
  7. Kansas State

ACC - 7 Teams left - (looks a little like the ACC with the best picked clean, doesn't it?)

  1. Duke
  2. North Carolina
  3. NC State
  4. Clemson
  5. Maryland
  6. Wake Forest
  7. Boston College (Kind of Surprised with the rivalry that they were left out - Perhaps they beat the DOMERS too often?)

  8. Big East (These guys really get hosed - From a football Perspective):

  1. South Florida
  2. Louisville
  3. U-Conn
  4. Cincinnatti

    So, what happens? Well, assuming that Texas and the Domers could actually pull this off - and don't think there aren't enough $$$$$ on the table to make something like this happen with NBC licking it's chops at the prospect of adding Texas and family to the NBC broadcast base, what have they really impacted? The ACC has the smallest television (football) contract that there is. Yes, the basketball contract is huge, but with the conference suggested, they don't lose too much of that impact, and if you were to add say, Oklahoma, Okie Stat, Kansas and Uconn to the ACC, expanding it's footprint but diminishing the football presence - a little - I don't see Miami having the presence in college football it once did and Oklahoma might be a step up.

    Big East, and Big 12, well, they lose the super conference ranking and anyone left I guess goes into whatever the Big 12 can make of the remnants. Don't forget the Pac 10 will want to pick over the premium teams (Colorado?) left on the table.

    New ACC:

    1. Duke
    2. North Carolina
    3. NC State
    4. Clemson
    5. Maryland
    6. Wake Forest
    7. Boston College
    8. Oklahoma
    9. Okie State
    10. Kansas
    11. U-Conn
    12. Cincinnatti

      New ??????? (everything that's left after the Pac 10 has it's way or makes up it's mind)

      1. Texas Tech
      2. Baylor
      3. Iowa State
      4. Kansas State
      5. Louisville
      6. South Florida
      7. TCU
      8. SMU
      9. ????
      10. ????
      11. ????
      12. ???

        (Also known as the D1 Conference that has all it's games on Wednesday Nights!)

        Anyway, it's becoming very apparent to me that money, Television money, is going to dictate re-alignment in the future. And that television money will become very important with respect to the markets you are in and what you can put on the tube...And if TEXA-ND Conference could penetrate those markets and create better product for the average football viewer, well, this could be part of that seismic shift that $warbuck$ was talking about...

        You have to think about it anyway...Might as well Think Big...

        Wednesday, March 10, 2010

        DOMERS (Jeez I HATE THESE GUYS) Getting Nervous?

        For those of you that follow and even those that just started, I don't think I have ever done as much off season posting as I have done in 2010. In fact, I know I haven't. It's ridiculous, but, in my mind, enlightening and necessary for anyone that only reads my blog for information.

        Frank the Tank is staying on top of the Expansion Story and $warbuck$ has come out with a comment that (and I'm paraphrasing here) , "It may be necessary for the Notre Dame (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) to look at conference affiliation if the BCS landscape changes dramatically."

        Hmmmmmmm......Does this mean that the Domers are finally, FINALLY waking up to the fact that the football team, when it comes back to national prominence, will be hard pressed to get to a National Title Game, EVEN IF THEY ARE UNDEFEATED if there are two (or more) 1 loss BCS Conference Champions that win their Conference Championship game and they will most likely be selected over the Domers??? Could be....I mean, let's face it: A Pac 10 with 1 loss, Florida (or other SEC Champ), and the Big 10 all with 1 loss...Would you really want to take the Domers out of that group and see them play one of those teams when the Domer's dossier will have questionable victories all over it? Me either....And in reality, between the SEC, Big 12, PAC 10 and ACC, chances are that two teams emerge perfect is becoming more of a reality all the time. 2009 Texas and Alabama are perfect examples. Domers could have gone undefeated and been on the outside looking in.

        But what it really comes down to is the dough. The Domers receive a paltry sum for playing basketball in the Big East. That is really irrelevant at this point. NBC (I'm guessing) has seen advertising revenue dry up. And advertising on the Domers when they're losing is probably getting tougher to sell - check that - IT HAS TO BE getting tougher to sell... If NBC is already in pre-discussions on the next contract with the Domers and $warbuck$ has gotten wind that they are going to try to reduce the $ offered per game in the contract, well, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Big 10 is a great move financially for them. (Not to mention that NBC may be looking at ways to air some other conference and get a new contract themselves and feel limited by the Domers exclusivity?) And my other guess is that $warbuck$ threw the above public statement out there to see if the Super Rich Alumni would be supportive of the Big 10 move or if they would insist on keeping the Domer Independence by coughing up more money in private donations. And when you look at the current economy, it's my guess that the Domer Super Rich don't have a lot of extra money they need to be throwing at their alma mater for the tax write off at this point. So, $warbuck$ can do some bar napkin math with the president of Notre Dame and show that even if things in the economy improve dramatically over the next 5 years, the Big 10 presents a really big security blanket. And if they don't grab it, well, that blanket may get pulled away and be entirely gone for any future potential expansion. So let's summarize $warbuck$ worry beads:

        1. NCAA Football Play-offs – They aren’t going to happen – not in anyone who is posting here’s lifetime. Accept it. This would be the one solution where an "independent" might get the 8th spot and the Domers could have an undefeated season and still have a shot at the title. Without a playoff, Domers are out in the cold. $warbuck$ and everyone else can see that writing on the wall.

        2. The “Mythical” National Champion will be decided by two teams that come from a BCS conference, and the chances improve if those teams also play in a conference Championship Game (and win, of course. See 2007 LSU). Daddy $warbuck$ sees that writing on the wall, also.

        3. The Domer Nation’s thirst to be back in the title hunt if Kelly is the answer (That remains to be seen) will not be quenched if they go undefeated and are sitting on the outside looking in because of Strength of Schedule and voter sentiment. (I think $warbuck$ is a realist here, too.)

        4. All of those reasons and the fact that multiple Big 12 schools will jump at the chance to complete the Big 10 (not to mention that any BEast school in it’s right mind would bolt) makes $warbuck$ very uneasy.

        5. NBC is trying to “push” the VS Network and may have already leaked the information to the Domers that they want to put the “low draw” or non-marquise match-ups on VS in the future, making that a more marketable network to more cable providers, hence more NBC revenue. $warbuck$ knows the backlash from the general Domer nation will be loud and vocal if they suddenly can't find Notre Dame on the Notre Dame Network and they don't have VS.

        6. $warbuck$ doesn’t need to look any further than PSU as to how a good program can benefit from joining a good or great conference. And that should be evidence enough to anyone making this decision that it's the right thing to do.

        All that being said, Texas isn’t a dummy and is probably discovering the overall benefits of joining the Big 10(NOT JUST ATHLETICS) far outweigh any reasons to stay in and keep the Big 12 intact.

        And that, that REALLY is what is making $warbuck$ and others inside the Golden Dome very nervous. Yes, friends, the inevitable may finally be happening and the Domer Armor and false air of superiority may finally be cracking and the air is starting to stink. And they are smelling the Roses that the Big 10 has to offer....

        Hee-hee...I will enjoy the day when it happens.

        Tuesday, March 9, 2010

        3 New Bowls? Are you KIDDING ME?

        Dr. Saturday has a great post on the 3 new bowls that "they" are trying to pull together....One in Yankee Stadium, another in Houston and one more in Dallas at the new Jerry Jones Center....


        Gillette makes some great points, and I wanted to make a few here for myself. It wasn't too long ago, I think in my bowl wrap where I tried to name all 34 bowls from memory and I think I came up 6 or 7 short...I can't remember now....but that's not really even the point. The point is, do we need three more post season games that no one, and I mean NO ONE gives two hoots about? Main point that I thought was worth pointing out: If you add three more games, it will make more than 50% of the NCAA D-I football teams playing post season, if they're eligible, of course.

        I would rather see a bigger pre-season spectacle put on with two major names that are highly ranked come out and play an exhibition game that didn't count towards their season record than watch the 7th team in the Big 10 take on someone from Conference USA that is equally bad. College football is starting to miss what made it so special to the fans today that fell in love with it in the 70's and 80's.

        NOT EVERYONE WENT TO A BOWL GAME! A bowl game was special...granted, Michigan had been to 33 consecutive bowls until the "collapse", but it really used to be special to go to the Rose or even somewhere else once the Big 10 opened up their criteria. But still, to this fan, less is more. If you saturate the product, people are not going to tune in. I posted earlier that it was hard for me to catch even 10 or 12 of the post season games due to the fact that I have a life...

        If anything, I would suggest to someone, ANYONE, listening that you should try to fix New Year's Day so that we can gourge ourselves on the product on that day. Oh, by the way, in case you HAVEN'T heard, another dumb thing they have done is to move the Outback Bowl starting time from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM so it goes up directly against the Citrus and Gator, who all host Big 10 teams, by the way....Thanks guys - I needed that like I needed another losing season at Michigan!

        Monday, March 8, 2010

        Basketball - Anyone????

        I normally don't post on Basketball. There are a multitude of reasons, but the main one is I am not able to watch every game. And for that reason, I feel it's unfair of me to critique a team or a coach without the benefit of me seeing each and every attempt that is made to add a W to the win column. I read a lot about them, but suffice to say everyone has their own opinion....

        However, I feel it necessary to make one comment after watching what can only be described as a "debacle" yesterday in East Lansing. This was the last conference game for two of Michigan's (and Beiline's) best players - Sims and Harris. I tuned in specifically to see if they could some how pull off the same magic they found at Crisler when the Amaizing Blue took Sparty to the last second and if there had been a lay-up that would have found the rim, there would have been a mass celebration in Ann Arbor. With that image in mind, I watched.

        And what I saw can only be described as borderline pathetic. We were out hustled, out played, out sized (which I know isn't entirely Beeline's fault) and pretty much out shot every step of the way. The Beeline experiment, while producing fruit last year by making the NCAA Tournament, has failed miserably this year. The team has simply not looked good. And Beeline, for lack of a better term, has failed to respond accordingly with the talent he has.

        I am not a basketball expert. But I can tell you just by watching the few games I saw this year that the team is not shooting the same way they shot last year, especially 3 pointers. A quick check of that stat confirmed my suspicions this AM. Everyone, to a man, is shooting worse this year. But is it because of the individual or is the game plan on how to "stop" Michigan out there? Deny the 3 and they don't have anything else.

        If I can recognize this as a casual observer, shouldn't Beeline have been able to see the same thing and design something that would get premium shots with the talent you have that isn't a 3 pointer? Something to generate a small semblance of offense? You have to keep the other team honest and frankly, Michigan failed to do that. Sparty simply owned us on both ends of the court. Sparty crashed the boards and without any size on Michigan's line up, they dominated. Granted, with injuries and lost recruits, Beeline cannot be entirely blamed for the size issue...He saw the exposure and did everything he could to shore it up, but it just didn't work out. And in the Big 10, size matters.

        I don't know how far away this program is from a consistent top 3 or 4 finish in the Big 10. Years, probably. If yesterday's result is any indication. But until the stranglehold of Sparty, The Cheeseheads and Purdue have on the top 3 spots is broken, Michigan is a 2nd tier program that probably won't see the NIT this year. Yes, there is still the Big 10 tournament, but come on, who are we kidding?

        So, where does that leave this team next year and in the future? Can Beeline create the same atmosphere here that Izzo enjoys at MSU? Is it possible? Can the tide turn at this once proud basketball institution and can it make it's way back up to the nation's elite?

        All questions without answers...of course....

        Friday, March 5, 2010

        The Links and Ties of the 1973 Football Squad

        This is a picture of the University of Michigan Men's Football Team from 1973. Check the muttons on some of these guys...and the hair. I am amazed whenever I see hair from the 70's....

        Here's a shot of your New AD in the Team photo (that's him in the back) there's a story behind the guy in front of David Brandon....Little known fact: For all of the Clinton High School Readers (You know who you are!), that's Don Eaton, Football Coach and eventual Principal at Clinton High! Also married to the late Don Canham's daughter.

        And here's another little known individual from that team...Yes, that's Les Miles with long hair and attitude. Definitely looks ready to kick OSU's ASS!!!!

        MMQ, What ARE YOU SAYING?

        Nothing...I'm not saying anything....Just thought you'd all enjoy the photos of your AD, an old high school coach, and maybe the new coach at the University of Michigan if this Rich Rod experiment doesn't work out....

        More Big 10 Expansion...And That Leaves the Big 12 Where...Exactly?

        You know something? Talking about Big 10 Expansion has actually gotten me excited again about college football. I have no idea why. I guess it has to do with the opportunity it would present for a championship game, a new, fresh opponent hopefully worthy of being in the Big 10 and not some flea bag that we "let" in because if you have been following along, the economics of joining the Big 10 make it a no brainer for just about any school out there, unless you are Notre Dame or Texas.

        I am not buying the recent "up trend" in the marketability of a team from the BEast...Granted, they are better now than they seemed to be even when Miami, Va Tech and BC were involved, but let's think for a second: If the ACC had it's choice between BC and Syracuse (Which I can't stand, by the way) and they chose BC, WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH would the Big 10 slop up any of the dregs that the ACC left in the Big East? Rutgers? Please...Go away. Pitt? We already have Penn State. Cincinnati and Louisville? Not Big 10 Caliber academics and, believe it or not, relatively small endowments - even Louisville who I figured would have some Kentucky money coming in from somewhere....

        So, that leaves us with the Big 12. And Texas is the prize, plain and simple. I don't think you will have a lot of Big 10 Presidents looking to chop up and take a smaller share of pie for a potential $15M play-off game pay out. It's just not going to happen. And I don't see the Big 10 bringing someone in that will agree to taking less. The strength of the Big 10 has always been, "Everyone gets a fair share whether you're playing on New Year's Day or not." That's the power of it.

        So, that being said, I am thinking Texas will happen. But I wanted to throw something else out there: If the Big 10 and Texas do agree, what happens to the Big 12?

        Assume Colorado and Utah join the Pac 10. And that's a very real possibility as the Pac 10 is starting to feel left out of the Championship game pie, not to mention that they want their own television network as well. I won't link all the info, but it's out there with some easy searches.

        That would leave:

        Texas A&M
        Okie State
        Kansas State
        Iowa State
        Texas Tech

        Please take note of the order. While this isn't exact, this is the order where the rest of the collgiate and commercial world believes the value is. In other words, Nebraska becomes the "most powerful" remaining team in the Big 12, followed by Oklahoma, Missouri, etc. What's interesting is that Kansas and it's storied basketball tradition and revitalized football program fall so far down the list...But look at the television markets and you will see everything you need to know. Farmers own lots of land and might watcht their sports, but their simply aren't that many of them per square foot.

        I was also surprised to see that the market "believes" that A&M doesn't have the pull that Texas does. However, when you compare the national "footprint" of Michigan and Michigan State, you begin to see how this is possible. Even when locally A&M and Texas are synonomous, as are Sparty and the Wolverines, Nationally, it just doesn't hold.

        So, if for a minute you assume you can replace a Top 10 and a Top 40 television audience (Texas and Colorado) with someone, who is it going to be? Leaving geography out of the equation and looking at the weakness in the Big East, does it make sense for the Big 12 to try to make it's own footprint expansion, and if so, where does it go and better yet: How Many Teams does it add?

        Obviously, the locals will want TCU in the Big 12. Big Mistake. Now, it's starting to look a lot like the SWC which didn't survive. I think with a strong Basketball presence the Big 12 could and should push for a presence in the Eastern Midwest. Louisville, the aforementioned Big 10 reject, has endowments larger the the laugable K-State and parallels Kansas. In addition, Cincinnatti makes sense with their strong Basketball and current presence in football. But is that really expanding the market? Does that bring a stronger brand to the table when ESPN comes calling and is looking at 2 games to show on Saturday - and Texas is playing Michigan and OSU is playing PSU? Uh, Big 12, what do you have for us? And if you take those two, for the sake of argument, where exactly does that leave the BEast?

        Not counting Basketball schools:

        Anything Football wise "really" excite you here at this point? Me either....

        The Big 12 needs to think radical - as does the Big East. While I am not sure what "radical" is and whether or not they can pull it off without the big money that the Big 10, SEC, ACC and Pac 10 have behind them, there needs to be some thought given to saving the conferences. Otherwise, you will see the former Big 8 become the "new Big 8" and you won't find them anywhere on the tube....right there along with the BEast.

        So, if you can't get big markets, do you get as many small, relatively good markets as you can? In other words, will the new Conference USA be some sort of quasi-merger of Big East and Big 12 athletics? That would shake things up. But is it better?

        Big 12-BEast Football: Welcome to Wednesday (and Thursday) Night Lights.....

        Tuesday, March 2, 2010

        MMQ Hot Seat Mascot to be on Dancing With The Stars!

        Well, I always thought the MMQ had national influence and it seems that our recognition of Erin Andrews as the Hot Seat Mascot of the Year has had a positive influence on her career! She has been selected to be on the ABC smash hit "Dancing With The Stars!" and will no doubt count the MMQ recognition as part of public acclaim that helped her achieve the star status.

        Unfortunately, Erin was unavailable to the MMQ for comment.

        Here's a small sampling of Erin for a cold end of winter day that will help you get through to next season....